Virginia Department of Historic Resources

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Sutherland House, Petersburg.

The Sutherland House is one of the more architecturally significant Civil War-era houses in Petersburg. The Italianate-style house was built circa 1860 by George Washington Sutherland, a prosperous city grocer. It features unusual chimneys made up of clustered flues, tripartite windows, and a Doric portico at the entry. An existing one-room brick dwelling built in 1838 was adapted to serve as an ell to the new house, and a two-story frame addition was completed by 1877.
   Sutherland and his wife, the former Prudence Archer, located their new house at what was the edge of the city, an area known as Ravenscroft, which got its start as a racially integrated neighborhood. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the Methodist Church and First Baptist Church were influential in the settlement of the first free African Americans in Ravenscroft. Two of Ravenscroft’s streets—Harding, where the Sutherland house sits, and Gressett, the street running parallel to Harding behind the property—were named for Methodist slave owners who freed their slaves during this period.